The Western Altmark versus Flintbek - palaeoecological research on two megalithic regions

Diers, Sarah, Jansen, Doris, Alsleben, Almuth, Doerfler, Walter, Müller, Johannes and Mischka, Doris (2014) The Western Altmark versus Flintbek - palaeoecological research on two megalithic regions Journal of Archaeological Science, 41 . pp. 185-198.

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This investigation focuses on the human-induced transformation of landscapes by comparing two small-scale megalithic regions on the North German Plain. For this study two test areas were defined, each measuring 36 km(2). Archaeological information and palaeoecological proxies were implemented to investigate changes of the environment related to human activities of the Neolithic Funnel Beaker Culture (FBC) during the period from ca. 3800-2800 cal BC. The chronological framework was constructed with the help of Bayesian and aoristic modelling of AMS-dates, combining archaeological and radiometric information. Charcoal from the megalithic tombs provided on-site data that show human impact induced by the construction and further use of the graves. Off-site data originated from two pollen profiles of nearby bogs. They supply additional information on local and regional landscape development. The ratio of light-demanding to shade-tolerant woody species represents the degree of woodland openness. It is a value which can be determined for both anthracological as well as palynological data. A comparison of both proxies led to divergent results for the two chosen areas. The proxies can be associated quite well for the Haidberg area with regard to openness, whereas missing accordance of both palaeoecological data sets in the Flintbek region provides a strong argument for human impact on local levels. A settlement phase indicated by various non-arboreal pollen taxa was not confirmed for the Altmark Haidberg area before 3050 cal BC, but in the nearby area of Beetzendorf (7 km distance) at least since ca. 3200 cal BC. In the Flintbek region, two settlement phases of the FBC are visible, separated by a phase of forest regeneration, which was attributed to changes of settlement behaviour within the local Neolithic societies. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 1 0 1
Research affiliation: Kiel University
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
ISSN: 0305-4403
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2015 12:08
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2015 12:08

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